Monroe County Board hears updates

The Monroe County Board of Commissioners dealt with a relatively light agenda  Monday morning. 

With June 1 being the halfway mark of Monroe County’s fiscal year, commissioners heard a semi-annual report from Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein about the state of the county budget. 

Koenigstein noted he expects revenue from income tax should exceed budget projections.

At a little over $1 million collected thus far, the line is already at 70.1 percent of the budgeted prediction. 

Koenigstein added he expects the overall county revenue to be higher, approximating around $10.5 million or more at the end of the current fiscal year against the $9.59 million budgeted revenue.  

As far as expected expenditures, Koenigstein said it’s “too early to tell” if the bottom line will be affected by ongoing inflation. 

Currently, all county departments collectively have spent a little under 47 percent of budgeted funds. 

Koenigstein also remarked the county should have all real estate taxes collected before the end of fiscal year 2022 barring any delays from the state in producing a multiplier.

Due to assessments being published in April, tax bills will not be sent until August – with October and November payment due dates. This leaves little room for setbacks to finalize 2021 property tax ledgers before the new fiscal year for the county begins Dec. 1, he said.

At the beginning of the meeting, commissioners approved a resolution creating a new account for the second round of American Rescue Plan Act fund disbursement. 

The administrative motion creates a financial placeholder for the funds in the FY22 budget. Monroe County has now received its full allotment of just over $6.7 million in ARPA money.

Recipients of ARPA funding have until the end of 2024 to spend or “obligate” the funds. Monroe County has already earmarked nearly $2.5 million, about one third, of ARPA financing for use by various county departments. 

Monroe County Engineer Aaron Metzger also gave commissioners a semi-annual report for the highway department. 

Metzger noted that in addition to steel prices being high – affecting the cost of bridge and culvert materials – the cost of asphalt and other oil-based necessities are leading to a shortage of bidders for upcoming projects. 

He said the current price of pure asphalt is nearly double what it was at this time last year.

He reported the upcoming pedestrian project at Route 3 and Country Club Lane/HH Road only had one bidder, and the bid was  about $30,000 over project estimates. 

Metzger said he would consult with the City of Waterloo, who is partnering in the project, before proceeding with further action. 

Another project, upcoming shoulder work on Maeystown Road, will also cost more than originally expected, although Metzger told commissioners he may be able to acquire more funds since much of the project financing is though a state highway safety initiative.

In other business, commissioners voted to extend the use by Outsider Tavern in downtown Waterloo for a county-owned parking lot next to the business across from the Monroe County Courthouse.

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Scott Woodsmall

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